Maiduguri - The Borno State Government on Tuesday appealed to the federal government to provide storage facilities to farmers in the state to preserve their produce.
Gov. Kashim Shettima made the appeal when he received a team of officials from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in his office in Maiduguri.
Shettima said the provision of such facilities would boost the enormous agricultural potential of the state, which accounts for 70 per cent of sorghum production in the country.
"The crop is cultivated in both northern and southern parts of the state," he said, and lamented that lack of storage facilities had resulted in post-harvest losses.
"Our farmers are faced with the problem of storage facilities, as they suffer post-harvest losses every year."
Shettima said the state government had released about N200 million for the purchase of excess onions, to save farmers from losses.
"Few months ago, we made available N200 million to buy up excess onions produced by our farmers to keep them in business.
"We had no option than to bail them out because they were getting out of business," he said.
Shettima commended federal government’s plan to establish a Sorghum Processing Plant in the state, saying that it was a timely decision.
He, however, said that the issue of storage facilities must also be addressed by the government.
Earlier, Dr Ubandoma Ularamu, the National Coordinator of the Rural Access and Mobility Project, who led the team, told the governor that they were in the state to identify a site for the plant.
"This project is under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the federal government, and we have been mandated to search for good sites for the setting up of the plant in the North East Zone of the country," Ularamu said.
"We are looking at the possibilities of siting the plant in either Borno or Adamawa.
"We have gone round and seen things for ourselves, so we can make the necessary recommendations," he said.